Now Liz can feel real joy after hospital op

By Dan Santy 31/05 Updated: 01/06 11:39

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NORMAL everyday emotions are something new for Liz Jackson.

Imagine not being able to feel joy at the birth of a grandchild or the nerves that accompany life's defining moments. For Liz, this was the reality she faced for 12 years because of a condition that caused her heart to beat dangerously fast and had to be controlled by drugs.

The 55-year-old former Coventry teacher said the medication taken to suppress her heart arrhythmia made her life feel like she was 'wading through golden syrup', with numbness accompanying her on moments when she should have felt happy or sad.

It started when her heart began racing for no apparent reason and with no warning - reaching speeds of up to 250 beats per minute - even when she was resting.

As the condition progressed she began to experience palpatations, breathlessness and dizziness, meaning her only option was to take powerful drugs to suppress adrenaline and bring her heart rate down to normal.

The flip side of this was the numbing effect it had on her ability to feel emotion.

Liz said: "I didn't experience the normal highs and lows of emotions for those 12 years I was taking the drugs. It felt like I was wading through golden syrup.

"There would be occasions like weddings and the birth of my granddaughter when I would feel happy but wouldn't feel the elation that others would. It was quite bizarre.

"There are more times than I can count that I had to be taken from my work as a teacher in a senior school in an ambulance to the hospital.

"I was a bag of nerves not knowing when these attacks would strike and they really impacted on my life, I just stopped doing things."

Last year Liz reached the point when the drugs she took stopped working, meaning her only option was to undergo a procedure at Coventry's University Hospital.

And in just 45 minutes, consultant cardiologist and heart arrhythmia expert Dr Faizel Osman had identified the cause of the problem and burned away the heart tissue causing her condition.

Now Liz has been given a new lease of life and can experience normal emotions again.

She said: "I am delighted to be able to enjoy my granddaughter and although I missed out on the feeling you get in your heart of overwhelming joy and excitement of her birth and the six years since, I intend to make up for the lost time.

"Looking back I was always so calm. People around me would be rushing around to get to work or to the airport, but I just felt so relaxed about everything.

"I was also very tired though, and looking back I don't how I got up in the morning, went to school, taught all day and then came home and worked. I feel like I'm in my 20s again."

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